Agriculture plays a strategic role in both regional and national economic development in Uganda, as it does in the rest of the continent. More than 70% of the Ugandan workforce is farmers.
Research shows that increases in agricultural income have helped decrease poverty in the country over the last several decades. However, smallholder farmers still face many barriers, including small farms, low-quality agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizers, etc.), a lack of modern farming equipment, and a lack of access to markets to sell their produce.
With these constraints, many rural Ugandan farmers currently do not produce enough food to both eat and sell to the markets. About 25% of smallholder households live on less than $1.25 per day; 67% live on less than $2.50 per day. Both local communities and the national economy suffer from the lack of agricultural productivity and inefficient use of land resources.
1% of Ugandan smallholder farmers use tractors
The poorest farmers sell only 4% of their produce
We partner with religious and customary leaders in the community to serve on a Board of Overseers that administers the project. The Board of Overseers appoints three community leaders per village, who recruit farmers and monitor their progress throughout the project.
Subsistence agriculture has been a way of life in these communities for years. Therefore, specialists on mindset and behavior change lead workshops so that farmers fully understand the benefits of growing their crops to sell for profit.
PMA’s agronomists and agricultural engineer teach farmers to use modern farming equipment and new techniques for increasing yield. Trainings also cover approaches to improve family gardens, including how to grow a more nutritious bundle of produce to meet families’ basic dietary needs.
Modern equipment and high-quality inputs
PMA provides access to tractors, quality seeds, fertilizer, harvesting equipment, irrigation equipment, and a grain storage facility, as well as establishes connections with buyers.
Financial management training
PMA offers farmers training on financial literacy, bookkeeping, logistics, inventory management, and managing money to help farmers effectively manage the sale of their crops and the subsequent income they receive.
Ongoing support and refresher trainings
Over the course of the first year, PMA’s agricultural engineer and agronomists monitor farmers’ progress using the equipment and new farming techniques and provide refresher trainings as needed.